Sundance Film Festival 2024: Girls Will Be Girls and Nocturnes win big

It's a big moment for Indian films at Sundance Film Festival 2024! The two films from India, the coming-of-age drama “Girls Will Be Girls” and the documentary “Nocturnes,” which premiered at the festival, were selected by the respective international jury on Friday at the Ray Theater in Park City, Utah excellent. (Also Read: Nocturnes directors Anirban Dutta and Anupama Srinivasan's interview on the only Indian documentary at Sundance 2024)

Girls will be girls

A still from Girls Will Be Girls and Nocturnes.

The Shuchi Talati-directed film Girls Will Be Girls won two awards: the Audience Award in the World Cinema Dramatic category and the Special Jury Prize for Drama for its lead actor Preeti Panigrahi.

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Girls Will Be Girls is a coming-of-age story set in the strict boarding school in the Himalayas and revolves around the difficult relationship between sixteen-year-old Mira (Preeti Panigrahi) and her mother Anila (Kani Kusruti). It is the first production project of actors Richa Chadha and Ali Fazal. An excerpt from Hindustan Times' review of the film states: “With the help of Jih-E Peng's sensitive camerawork, Talati is keenly attentive to how the invisible structures of patriarchy take shape from an institutional perspective as the narrative weaves its threads together .” on the way to a rewarding (if slightly longer) climax.”


The second film to premiere at the festival was Anirban Dutta and Anupama Srinivasan's Nocturnes. The documentary won the World Cinema Documentary Special Jury Award for Craft.

The documentary revolves around a scientist and a local from the Himalayas who observe and document the life of hawkmoths over a period of months. An excerpt from the film's review by Hindustan Times states: “Nocturnes is intimate and expansive – breathtakingly alive in its sensory, aural design. It plays with perception as one wants to explore what these moths want to say.”

The win for Nocturnes marks the fourth consecutive time an Indian documentary has been honored at the prestigious festival, following Writing with Fire, which won the Audience Award and Special Jury Prize in 2021: Impact for Change; All That Breathes, which won the Grand Jury Prize in 2022; and Against The Tide won the Special Jury Prize for Vérité Filmmaking last year.

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